Although I think Ampersand's question about feminists liking Y: the Last Man deserves a more lengthy answer than the pithy one I gave him (if for no other reason than because the title of my post suggested that it would contain such an answer) my thoughts on that subject are still as jumbled as they obviously were when I wrote the post in question.
So, instead, I give you one of the many reasons I read romance novels. Er, well, why I read Julia Quinn, anyway. The quote below is from the latter part of On the Way to the Wedding.
Our hero, Gregory, and heroine, Lucy, are sitting on a park bench feeding pigeons and discussing Lucy's upcoming marriage to another man, his bad luck wooing her best friend, and other trivialities.
"I'm sorry," she said.
He turned. Regarded her with a contemplative curiosity. "You say that quite frequently."
"I...I don't know." Her teeth ground together, and she felt quite tense. Uncomfortable. Why would he point out such a thing? "It's what I do," she said, and she said it firmly, because...Well, because. That ought to be enough of a reason.
He nodded. And that made her feel worse. "It's who I am," she added defensively, even though he had been agreeing with her, for heaven's sake. "I smooth things over and I make things right.'
And at that she hurled the last peice of bread to the ground.
His brows rose, and they both turned in unison to watch the ensuing chaos. "Well done," he murmured.
"I make the best of things," she said. "Always."
"It's a commendable trait," he said softly.
And that, somehow, made her angry. Really, truly, beastly angry. She didn't want to be commended for knowing how to settle for second-best. That was like winning the prize for the prettiest shoes in the footrace. Irrelevant and not the point.